Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
Gazette Xtra: In Houston, city lawyers obtained subpoenas requiring five pastors to turn over sermons and other communications that mention the city’s equal rights ordinance. With assistance from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the pastors sued to nullify the subpoenas as overly broad and irrelevant to the case.
Public Discourse: Contemporary sex education prepares young men and women not for the fullness of friendship, intimacy and love, but for casual relationships and recreational sex.
Churches should shift priorities from defending to re-teaching marriage, say ERLC conference panelists
The Christian Post: A panel of Christian leaders sounded off on the current state marriage and the distorted view young adults have of its meaning at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s National Conference held this week in Nashville.
NY Post: The state’s highest court has toppled a cultural taboo — legalizing a degree of incest, at least between an uncle and niece — in a unanimous ruling.
Hot Air: Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d’Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt. But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.
The Gospel Coalition: While it was not unusual for Roman citizens to have multiple sexual partners, homosexual encounters, and engagement with temple prostitutes, Christians stood out precisely because they refused to engage in these practices.
Patheos (Standing on my Head): The Synod fathers this month were trying to address a real crisis in the human race: the disintegration of the family. The problems are very complex and are not simply a matter of people disobeying God’s law and running around with whoever they please.
Nashville Public Radio: Southern Baptists say they’ve gotten some things wrong on homosexuality, but they still see acceptance of same-sex marriage as a line that cannot be crossed.
National Review: The Knapps filed what is called a “pre-enforcement” challenge. Leftist groups frequently use these types of challenges to advance their agenda, which is why it is so amusing that people in their camp are squawking that the Knapps filed such a suit.
Austin Nimocks discusses NC magistrate resignation over same-sex marriage with Dr. Michael Brown (audio)
The Tennessean (AP): Students and administrators on the Johnson City campus of East Tennessee State University are wondering about the impact three days of sex education known as Sex Week may have on the campus.
FRC: Coeur d’Alene, a small town in northern Idaho appears to be trying to rein in their earlier threat to put two ministers in jail for refusing to conduct same-sex weddings. FRC’s allies at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) quickly came to the Knapps’ defense.
The Federalist: On same-sex marriage, we have to protect the freedom to say and do things that the mainstream finds repugnant.
The Washington Times: Jackie Hill-Perry considers herself not merely an agent of change, but its embodiment as well. A Christian spoken-word poet from Chicago, Ms. Hill-Perry professes to be a former lesbian — a change she ascribes to God.
Public Discourse: Notre Dame’s acceptance of the same-sex marriage movement’s rhetorical paradigm has made our nation’s flagship Catholic institution impotent. Yet there is an opportunity for the Notre Dame community to model ways to promote the good amid the crumbling ruins of institutional integrity.
The Daily Signal: Thirty-two percent of the growth in family income inequality since 1979 can be linked to the decline in the marriage rate.
Aleteia: Marriage scholars do emphasize the economic and educational gains married men enjoy. At a press luncheon last Tuesday, Robert I. Lerman and W. Bradford Wilcox discussed the findings from their new report, “For Richer, For Poorer: How Family Structures Economic Success in America.” They found that married men earn at least $15,900 more per year in individual income compared their single peers, while black married men earn $12,000 more and married men with a high school degree or less earn $17,000 more.
Family Studies: The news on marriage has been a bit gloomy recently. The Pew Research Forum reported in September that 20 percent of adults 25 and older have never been married. But in a report released today from the American Enterprise Institute and the Family Studies Institute, “For Richer, for Poorer: How Family Structures Economic Success in America,” W. Bradford Wilcox and Robert Lehrman document economic reasons that marriage is well worth fighting for.
And this just in! Southern Baptists still convinced Christianity has been correct on marriage for 2,000 years
Get Religion: Like I suggested earlier, people in public life that journalists embrace tend to “argue” that something is right, or “observe” certain truths to be self evident. Those on the wrong side of issues “rail” against them. They also “believe” that something “goes against God’s will” rather than, well, defend 2,000 years of Christian doctrine on a topic.
The Christian Institute: A family judge says marriage and cohabitation should be put on the same legal footing when relationships break down – but a newspaper columnist says he is “utterly and sadly mistaken”.
Juicy Ecumenism: “When we come to an event like this we have to have our hearts broken, not about their sin but about ours,” said Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and ERLC 2014’s opening keynote speaker. Mohler even shared, “I repent of denying that sexual orientation was legitimate.”
Christian News Network: Notre Dame University, a popular Roman Catholic institution, will host a controversial conference entitled “Gay in Christ: Dimensions of Fidelity” this week for those who identify as homosexuals but who hold to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage.
The Daily Signal: On Oct. 17, the couple’s attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from forcing the Knapps to violate their religious beliefs.
KTAR News: Earlier this week, the faith-based group Alliance Defending Freedom issued a letter to clerks in Arizona Superior Courts, informing them that they can legally refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples despite a judge’s ruling that overturned Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage. The group contends state law allows a clerk to appoint a deputy to marry a same-sex couple instead.
Christian Today: The Knapps were represented by the ADF, whose senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco had said in a statement: “The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines” and accused the city of being on “seriously flawed legal ground”. The lawsuit said that the city was “unconstitutionally forcing” them to perform same-sex ceremonies “in violation of their religious beliefs, their ordination vows, and their consciences”.
CrossMap: I recently wrote to invite you to enlist your pastor to participate in our seventh annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday, October 5, and your response has been phenomenal. More than 1,800 pastors from all 50 states plus Puerto Rico have participated so far.(Registration and participation are open through Election Day, November 4 – so if your pastor has not yet joined in, please encourage him to do so.)
First Things: The rapid shift in public opinion isn’t the product of superior argument. Arguments have been made, but the emotional symbolics of tolerance, love, and equality have been far more decisive than any detailed arguments—even in the courts.
Barbwire: There’s a lot more separating the U.S. and Puerto Rico than the Atlantic. Based on Tuesday’s news, the two regions are also oceans apart on judicial activism.
Breakpoint: Esolen’s 12 arguments [for marriage] revolve around virtue: not virtue as stuffy prudishness, as it’s now reputed to be, but virtue in its older sense of thoroughgoing goodness of life.
Alliance Defending Freedom: My marriage was a wreck. My wife and I were talking, and we even occasionally got along, but we were more like roommates.
Acton Institute: Same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Idaho earlier this month after a federal court ruled in the case of Latta v. Otter that the state’s statutes and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This ruling affected an anti-discrimination ordinance in the city of Coeur d’Alene, which was enacted last year to cover “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” (Since there is currently no similar state or federal non-discrimination laws, the requirement only applies in Coeur d’Alene or other Idaho cities with similar ordinances.)
KHQ: “The thing is, that the city wants to take the position that the hitching post is exempt from the ordinance, that’s great, but they need to clarify that in writing,” says Jeremy Pedesco a senior legal counselor with ADF.
12 News Now: Equality North Carolina issued a news release Friday calling memos sent out by the N.C. Values Coalition and the Alliance Defending Freedom misleading. The memos encouraged state officials with “sincere religious or moral beliefs” to refrain from issuing marriage licenses.
The Washington Post (RNS): The Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative group representing the couple in a lawsuit against the city, said the Hitching Post is not a nonprofit religious organization like a church, but rather is a religious for-profit limited liability company like a Bible publisher.
Lawyer: ACLU is ‘terrified’ and ‘running scared’ from the case of the Christian ministers who refuse to perform same-sex weddings
The Blaze: Tedesco believes that the ACLU is in “major damage control” over the fact that a non-discrimination ordinance that they have defended has been used to limit the speech of ordained ministers.
Nathan Cherry: The Knapp’s now face 180 days in jail and a $1,000 per day fine for each day they refuse to perform a same-sex ceremony. Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Knapp’s to prohibit the city from penalizing the couple.
Casey Mattox discusses Houston subpoenas and the SCOTUS same-sex marriage issue with Matthew Hawkins and Andrew Walker (audio)
The Christian Institute: Members of the Scottish Parliament have been handed a petition proposing that the existing law on adultery should be amended, in order to cater to same-sex couples.
North Carolina judge resigns so he won’t have to conduct same-sex marriages, thinks other magistrates will do the same
The Christian Post: A North Carolina county judge resigned on Monday because he did not want to violate his Christian faith and perform same-sex marriages, which are now permitted under the state’s law.
Christian News Network: Just two years after Barack Obama announced that he had reversed his longstanding opinion that marriage is solely between a man and a woman, the president of the United States is now taking his view even further by stating that he believes that the Constitution requires states to legalize same-sex “marriage.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: The great majority of those participating preached sermons relating biblical perspectives on the positions of electoral candidates. They also signed a statement agreeing that the IRS should not control the content of a pastor’s sermon. Hundreds more who didn’t speak from the pulpit on these issues still opted to sign the statement – bringing the total number of pastors in support of pulpit freedom to more than 3,800 since 2008.
RawStory: Sgro also noted that attempts publicize resignations like Breedlove’s are “part of an effort to hype up a few small cases” by groups like the North Carolina Values Coalition and the Alliance Defending Freedom. “If you hold a job or any position that serves the public or the state, then you have to carry out the duties of that job,” he said.
KHQ: Members of the Alliance Defending Freedom firm say they have no problem, dismissing the lawsuit. But if the Hitching Post, a for-profit business operating under the religious beliefs of its owners is exempt, that want that status included in the ordinance.
The Christian Post: Since the Knapps were forewarned by the city that non-compliance would be dealt with as a criminal offense under the city ordinance, they enlisted the help of our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and filed a federal lawsuit in Idaho on October 17. A court hearing will be held soon on the couple’s request for a court order preventing the city from prosecuting them under the ordinance.
What’s next for the Christian chapel owners who refuse to back down from refusal to perform same-sex marriage?
The Blaze: Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal firm representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, told TheBlaze Wednesday that city attorney Michael Gridley confirmed in a letter Monday that “for-profit companies … are subject to the non-discrimination ordinance.”
Sonoran News: “No one in America should be forced to choose between following their conscience and serving their employer,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “The First Amendment protects the right to basic freedoms, including the freedom to live and work according to one’s conscience. These freedoms are guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”
Aleteia: During a talk in New York Monday evening, the archbishop of Philadelphia urged the nation’s Catholic bishops to consider stopping the signing of civil marriage licenses for all couples in response to what he called the “new marriage regime” of same-sex civil marriage.
Public Discourse: Courts heighten scrutiny of policies that classify people by sex and other “suspect” traits. But laws defining marriage as a male-female union are different in structure. The very form of policies based on the male-female pairing—unlike every other classification—demonstrates their connection to the common good. So courts shouldn’t subject them to the special scrutiny applied to other laws that classify by sex.
The Global Dispatch: “No one in America should be forced to choose between following their conscience and serving their employer,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “The First Amendment protects the right to basic freedoms, including the freedom to live and work according to one’s conscience. These freedoms are guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”
Fox News: Kerri Kupec discusses the Hitching Post case on Special Report with Bret Baier.
The Daily Signal: On Tuesday, United States District Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez upheld Puerto Rico’s law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. He concluded that the U.S. Constitution does not require the redefinition of marriage.
The Washington Post: United States District Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez has dismissed a challenge to Puerto Rico’s law limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
Andrew Sullivan: But in cases like these, I still favor maximal religious liberty – even for a public accommodation like this one because requiring individuals to perform a marriage ceremony against their beliefs is just something we don’t do in a liberal society.
Idaho State Journal: According to the Spokesman-Review, the lawsuit was filed by Georgia and Arizona-based attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom in partnership with Coeur d’Alene attorney Virginia McNulty Robinson. The group’s website defines ADF as a “legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.”
KTVB: Their attorney, David Cortman, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, says they openly admit their chapel is for-profit, but say because of their religious beliefs, they refuse to marry gay or lesbian couples.
The Christian Post: Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom legal organization, told The Christian Post that while Coeur d’Alene has an ordinance saying that under “public accommodation” businesses cannot discriminate, state law offeres a possible exemption for the Knapps.
The Spokesman-Review: The Alliance Defending Freedom in Lawrenceville, Georgia, filed the suit on behalf of the Knapps. Attempts to seek comment from the alliance about the AFA’s involvement in the issue were unsuccessful Tuesday.
CT Post (AP): “We’re disappointed in the ruling because we think it’s premature,” said Ken Connelly, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Hawaii Family Forum, a group that intervened in the case as a gay marriage opponent and wanted the lawsuit to remain.
Citizen-Times: Equality North Carolina issued a news release Friday calling memos sent out by the NC Values Coalition and the Alliance Defending Freedom misleading. The memos encouraged state officials with “sincere religious or moral beliefs” to refrain from issuing marriage licenses.
Catholic San Francisco (CNS): He had given the parties that fought Arizona’s ban and the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group defending the law, until Oct. 16 to respond. – See more at: http://www.catholic-sf.org/ns.php?newsid=1&id=62866#sthash.dHmeVjAY.dpuf
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom has issued legal memos to advise North Carolina, Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada officials responsible for issuing marriage licenses that they do not have to issue certain licenses where doing so conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs.
ADF Media: “The people of Puerto Rico – and the people of every U.S. state and territory – should be free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The district court in this case was right to conclude, as the U.S. Supreme Court recognized in its Windsor decision last year and in its previous Baker decision, that marriage law is the business of the states. Echoing last month’s decision from a Louisiana federal district court that affirmed the states’ authority over the definition of marriage, the court said that ‘[i]t takes inexplicable contortions of the mind or perhaps even willful ignorance…to interpret Windsor’s endorsement of the state control of marriage as eliminating the state control of marriage.’” -Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Caleb Dalton
Couer d’Alene City Attorney confirms: conservative Christian ministers’ wedding chapel business must provide same-sex marriage ceremonies
The Washington Post: The letter, signed by the City Attorney, is here. It notes that, while nonprofits are exempted from the ordinance, for-profit wedding chapels are not: “if they are providing services primarily or substantially for profit and they discriminate in providing those services based on sexual orientation then they would likely be in violation of the ordinance.”
Star Advertiser (Subscription Required): The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Hawaii’s marriage equality law makes a pending federal lawsuit moot, and instructed the lower court to dismiss the case.
ADF Media: The Coeur d’Alene city attorney confirmed in a letter Monday that ordained ministers operating a for-profit wedding chapel are in violation of a city ordinance for declining to marry same-sex couples.
The Patriot Post: “Right now,” said attorney Jeremy Tedesco, “they are at risk of being prosecuted. The threat of enforcement is more than just credible.” Unlike bakery owner Jack Phillips, who Colorado bullied with similar charges, the Knapps are both ministers. And while their chapel is considered a “religious corporation,” even it isn’t safe from the same-sex “wedding” march that threatens to put the First Amendment asunder.
Christian Today: “The government has no business compelling ministers to violate their beliefs and break their ordination vows or risk escalating jail time and fines,” said the Knapps’ attorney, Jeremy Tedesco.